Seed Swap Activities

Seed Swapping is a lovely activity to do with children.
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Seed Swap Day logoDid you know that the last Saturday in January every year is National Seed Swap Day?
It is the perfect time to prepare for the hopefully not too far away Spring!

What is Seed Swap Day?

Seed swapping has taken place for centuries as seeds were one of the first commodities that were traded. These days it is a perfect form of recycling as
the idea is to collect seeds from plants you already have in your garden/surrounding area or leftover seeds and to swap them for something different – basically sharing some of your garden and at the same time promoting biodiversity. It is a fun activity and can encourage people to try new things.

Who do I swap seeds with?Herb seeds

Seed swapping can be done with friends, neighbours or anyone interested in growing things! Lots of towns have their own events going on so check out if there is anything going on in your local area. Leandra from LarabeeUK is running a Seed Swap so if you are interested then pop over to her blog.

For seed swapping the seeds are normally put in seed envelopes. Then count the seeds or estimate how many are in the package. Label the seed envelope with the name of the plant, number of seeds, year the seeds were bought or collected. If you can, provide a short description of your plant to help people out. It always good to know height and colour of the plant!

Children and seeds.

Planting Seeds following Seed Swap.This activity seems an ideal time to involve children in growing things from seed. The excitement of sharing/swapping seeds and then growing them could be just the stimulus required for sparking an interest in growing things. Growing anything from seed is a wonderful learning experience for children but I think even more so is to grow food. All food starts with a seed but children can find this a difficult concept. Growing and then cooking their own food helps raise awareness of where food comes from and encourages healthy eating.

Swapping Seeds for Seed Swap. It is a good idea to start growing seeds on a kitchen window sill and encourage the children to water using a spray bottle. Then the children can easily watch the seeds germinate.

Why not explore different foods throughout the week with your children to learn more about which ones have seeds? They may find this surprising!

There are so many activities for using seeds with children other than planting and growing. There are many types of craft activities and investigations too and a range of different skills can be developed from making comparisons and counting to looking at life cycles. Many activities can be done with a range of ages. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Activities to do with children.

  • Compare seeds. Think about questions such as: What are seeds? What is inside them? Why are seeds certain shapes and sizes? How do plants spread their seeds?  – magnifying glass, seed tray (ice cube tray), seeds
  • Develop vocabulary such as germinate, root, shoot, leaf, dispersal.Seed Swapping is a lovely activity to do with children.
  • Make your own seed packet. Most seeds are kept in paper packets so that the seeds can breathe. Find a template here.
  • Try a germination test by putting some of the seed onto damp kitchen roll, roll this up and keep in a plastic bag/container and check every day to see if the seed has germinated
  • Grow quick germinating seeds in a variety of situations – fridge, windowsill, dark cupboard, etc and monitor their progress.
  • Make a seed counter to make it easier for young children to count the seeds and practice their counting skills along the way. Find one here.

For other ideas linked with children and seeds please look at my pinterest board.

Would you consider swapping/gathering or buying seeds and growing things with your children?


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52 thoughts on “Seed Swap Activities

  1. Fantastic post lovely, we have so many half packets of seeds I wish I had seen the swap in time as we would have definitely taken part. Ours are mainly veg. Love the ideas around getting children involved I am up for anything which helps with counting skills. Thank you for joining us at #BloggerClubUK hope to see you again next week xx

  2. What a lovely and educational activity to do with the kids. I’m fascinated with seeds. We grew sweet pea from seed last year on our windowsill, so holding we can create that success again this year! #TwinklyTuesday #BloggersClubUK xx

  3. This is a fantastic idea for any sort of gardener, with or without children. I always use to swap seeds and cuttinga with my mum when I had a garden (well I say swap, she was the one diid the hard work, her fingers are way greener than mine) #BloggerClubUK

  4. What a great idea and fun for kids I always kill everything I try to grow it’s frustrating. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme

  5. Oh this is so much fun!! I have never done this before with my girls. I know Bella helps her granddad with his herbs, veggies, and fruits that they have in their back garden and she really loves it and enjoys a lot. I think this would be another great activity to do. You always have great ideas!!! Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I would love to see you again on Sunday! 🙂 x

  6. So, so interesting! I had no idea that seed swaps existed, how great is that! Every week I read your blog I am encouraged to try some activities with seeds with my little one. I am so inspired to try something in the next few weeks if we can. Thanks for always sharing such interesting posts that make it so easy for those of us without green fingers to follow and get involved :-). Emily #MarvMondays

  7. I love your tips on getting kids interested in growing – we’re definitely going to try this! I think my daughter is the perfect starting age 🙂 Mim x #brilliantblogposts

  8. A great choice of activities Sara, we aren’t taking part this year but I will definitly be remembering it for next year.

    Thanks for linking up to #ToddlerApprovedTuesday

    1. I hope you manage to get one, that would be great! I would love an allotment but they are difficult to get hold of round here! Thanks for reading 🙂

  9. Woohoo, I’m very excited to get Luke back into gardening again. I hadn’t heard of National Seed Swap day until this year when Leandra mentioned it. I love the activities you listed, we will be doing lots of discussions and definitely give designing a seed packet a go! Ray xx #toddlerapprovedtuesday

  10. What a fantastic idea, I had never heard of this day so thanks for sharing. This is something I really need to try with my two little ones. Although, we don’t have much success with keeping houseplants alive so this may be a challenge! #TwinklyTuesday

  11. Fab idea!! I’m going to look up to see if there’s an event in my area and also tell our WI, could be something that we incorporate into our meetings! I found your post via #MarvMondays 🙂

  12. This is such a great idea! I haven’t heard of this before! i’ve been meaning to introduce the little monster to the idea of planting but unfortunately I don’t have much of a green thumb! #KCACOLS

  13. What a marvelous idea! I personally think kids these days spend too much time on electronic gadgets and really should indulge in more activities like this.


    1. I only discovered it a couple of years ago but it seems a great activity to do with children. I hope you enjoy joining in if you decide to give it a try 🙂

  14. I think this is a fab idea. Using the activity to teach vocabulary is a great idea and a brilliant way to promote literacy skills as well as having fun and learning about seeds. I enjoyed your post.


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